Lumberjanes #17 concludes another wild arc. If you’ve forgotten where we left off, Abigail went to take down the Grootslang, while the Lumberjanes plus Barney go looking for a stop to the madness, and Rosie goes after Abigail. Are we all on the same page? Okay great. I think by now it’s pretty well established that I love Lumberjanes. The story, the characters, the creators - I’m a fan. I’m really pleased with how the story is developing; this arc definitely had a different feel to it than the first, and as it should. The characters are established, the relationships defined, and it’s easy to get into a comfortable place with the story and just stay there. But that’s not what Stevenson and Watters do. In this arc we see some relationships tested, including one we didn’t even know existed until pretty recently. Rosie and Abigail have a history, and even before we know the full story, readers have felt enough tension to guess.
There’s a fantastic conversation between Jo and Barney that addresses some of the issues Jo’s been having with Barney joining their adventure. They touch on Jo’s personal past, and the two bond over not feeling like they belong in certain spaces. It’s a great and important conversation to have, and the conversation is presented in such a way that younger readers can understand and relate to it. We’ve all been there, in some capacity or other, feeling that what we want and what’s expected of us are completely different things. It’s important for young readers to hear about these stories and to know that feeling like you aren’t “living up to expectation” is perfectly okay. Kudos to the creators there.
Other important things to note from this issue: Jen continues to rock incredibly hard. She’s just the best. Everyone needs a Jen in their life. Ripley is delightfully skilled at finding things. Always bring Ripley on your adventures-- though be warned she’s also the most likely to wander off and get lost. Also, the gang traipsing off with armfuls of jewels- and in Ripley’s case a crown and scepter- is fantastic. April’s carrying two chests of jewels, Mal and Molly have positively stuffed their coats. They’re clearly ready to party.
Another adventure comes to a close and the gang’s gotten Jen back, but we’ve still got questions galore. It wouldn’t be so strange to discover that time at the Lumberjanes camp passes differently than the outside world-- campers can literally access another realm containing dinosaurs through an outhouse, so weird passage of time wouldn’t be the weirdest thing by far. The camp seems to hold too many secrets to discover them all, but gosh darn it, our Lumberjanes are sure going to try.